Melanesian Brotherhood celebrate their founder

Members of the Brothers of the Church of Melanesia came together on the week end to remember and honour their founder, Ini Kopuria.

Solomon Star West Guadalcanal stringer John Toki reported that more than 30 members of the Melanesian Brothers,  Selwyn College students and members of the surrounding communities participated in the program.

The Melanesian Brotherhood was founded by Ini Kopuria, a Solomon Islander on the Island of Guadalcanal, in 1900.

After being educated at the Anglican church schools of Pamua and later in Norfolk Island he joined the British Protectorate’s native armed police force.

In 1924, when he was recovering in hospital from a leg injury, he received an experience of Christ, which was to change his life.

He believed that Christ had spoken to him and told him that he was not doing the work that Christ wanted him to do.

He began, with the encouragement of Bishop John Manwaring Steward, to realise God was calling him to start a community of indigenous Solomon Island men who would evangelise people in the most remote islands and villages throughout Solomon Islands; people who had not heard the message of Christ.

The Brothers went out in pairs and lived as brothers to the people, respecting their traditions of everyday life.

They take the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience for three years that can be renewed.

Today, the work of the Brotherhood has reached other countries beyond Solomon Islands.

The Melanesian Brotherhood has three regions in the Pacific:

  • Solomon Islands – includes Brothers in the Philippines and Vancouver
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Southern Region – that includes Vanuatu, New Caledonia and the Diocese of Polynesia.

The Brotherhood became well known around the world for their efforts at peace-making during the ethnic tension that existed in the Solomon Islands from 1998 to 2003 .


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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